Klokwerx

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The klokwerx is the largest harvester of light in all the land; it is a series of interconnected passageways which, by their very geometry, pull in the wind, the light, and the creatures commonly known as dragulls (their taxonomy being feathery-beaked-monster-that-lays-gilded-eggs). Built by Ramshod Axis of the Bondoogle clan in -11 EC, it is the source of light and of adjacent power for the Rump Towers, the most grandiose resort and entertainment centre ever conceived! (excerpted from the Rump Towers brochure). The only way to get to the Rump Towers and, by attachment, to the klokwerx, is by pachyderm train as the Cataract never meandered in that direction: Stonemouth is located some 25 leles east of Folktown (though only 2 leles north of said city), about 15 leles southeast of Egron, and 12 leles northeast of Jurra.

The Rump Towers and the klokwerx are not the same edifice nor were they built by the same families; rather one was built by Ramshod Axis into a large mount-boulder (affectionately called "George" by the locals) while the other was built by the Rumps to the side of said mount-rock. Though connected by shafts and tunnels, Rump Towers shares none of the smoke, steam, odor, or noise of the klokwerx. The Towers span three stories above the landscape of the hamlet Stonemouth some six leles northeast of Ingotburrough and near to the borderlands of the Dulalian Empire. The draw of the Rump Towers, however, are its six understories where unfold the gambling burrows, the refectories, the reflectories, the shoppes, hot pools and, of course, the elitist Biddles Bathhouse. The House Grommie approached the House Rump in -14 EC when that family got wind of the project and inquired about conjoining their entertainment interests; the House Rump, however, rebuffed any such effort at union. To this day the two Houses compete against each other with ever-increasing vindictiveness.

Heating the Towers, underground, is not a problem, for the area of Stonemouth is uncommonly blessed with geomorphic features that resonate with it. Light, however, is a different subject altogether. Light, as is well known, is heavier than air – for how else could it fall from the sky? Though it would seem that light would simply fill any hole it would have chance to encounter, the truth is not so simple. Light has an alcheological tendency to attach itself to certain substances, but dirt just isn’t one of them. Light needs to be coaxed into the underground, and the klokwerx does just that.

The structure of this magnificent edifice is forged from materials of iron, bronze and stone. The exact blueprint, dimensions, and framework are known only to Ramshod Axis and the project foreman Ser Wilian von Goot, both of whom have refused to answer but a few questions on the subject. The structure rises slightly higher than does the Rump Towers and digs deeper into the earth by another two understories! A dark-stack runs the height and depth of the klokwerx, while numerous windows, slats, grates, and holes pepper the topside; due to the workings of the dark-stack, the sky above the Rouble and the klokwerx is clouded at times by a mist of darkness (simple math proves that what is displaced below must be placed above). It is public knowledge that the whole frame is littered within with scaffoldings, stairways, and lifts, with pipes, ducts, pullies, levers, cranks, and weights. It has been posited by the mathematician Pricludious that the correlation between the outer geometry and the inner geomancy in conjunction with the supranatural qualities of the Rouble have created a kind of geo-intrinsic siphon.

This is not achieved without some consequence: within the klokwerx there is a constant hum of cogs, wheels, ropes, chains, and tumblers... as well as the constant pewing of the dragulls. The dragulls are drawn in and once inside they congregate on a level referred to as the stye. It is there that these obnoxious animals eat, drink, mate, and lay eggs. The eggs are gathered by specialized mechanauts and placed onto a conveyor belt that ultimately takes the gilded eggs to the boilerman. Within his realm the eggs (actually the eggshells) are smelted for their precious metals and collected in huge vats to be used as the klokwerx so needs and as Ramshod so says. Not all eggs are smelted: some are allowed to grow and hatch within the stye so allowing for the inevitable day when the area roundabout Stonemouth will not have any more wild dragulls (a day that some enviro-animalists say is but one year and two months away - although the people of Stonemouth say that this is nothing but apocolyptic claptrap).

A main component of the klokwerx is water. Water magnifies light. But Stonemouth has no natural sources of water, no streams, no rivers, not even ponds. Since the coming of Ramshod, their source of water is the Acquaduck Filiis. Though not common in the lands of rejahs and councils and executive boards, the acquaduck system is quite normal within the Dulalian Empire. Indeed, it is from the Empire that the Filiis stems. Back in -13 EC, Ramshod approached the Empire about extending their system to outside of their domain. Though it took much maneuvering, haggling, and (it is said) the exchange of at least one Bondoogle daughter, a deal was struck between Ramshod Axis and Legate Constan Zefrynus. Work was begun and within two years it was completed.

An odd note (and one which has given rise to numerous gossip) is that the acquaduck was not built by the Dulalians nor by the Stonemuthites, but rather by foreigners with strangely thin carapaces, who spoke a garbled language, worked only when the sun was not about, and who stank like putrid fefferberries. Ramshod says only that he was involved in a guest-worker program but refuses to say with what peoples. It is rumored that the second-assistant to the main librarian at the Monotapute House at Bute University has documentation on said guest-worker program, but when my aides approached him they were told it was all a "bunch of dirty lies" and that if that paperwork does indeed exist it would be "held by those in the know out at the M. Collegium in Thopth." But as by this time my aides were in no mood for yet another pachyderm train, they decided not to visit quiet, willow-strewn Thopth and instead enjoyed a beer in the local pub.

One last note, as to the site of Stonemouth nestled as it is in the open dry plain crannied between the lands of the Prince of Jurra and the lands of the Emperor of the Dulalian Empire, it would not have been chosen but for the presence of the Rouble. The Rouble is that strange geographical feature of gargantuan stones strewn about as if giants had been playing marbles and then got bored leaving them behind. There are some in Stonemouth and even in more civilized centers like Folktown who believe that it was indeed an ancient race of giants who gathered the stones and rocks and boulders. There are others, in Odlucia and Erg and a strong contingent among Aminfarances Institute disciples, who say that a primordial flood deposited said stones, rocks, and boulders. There is also Quad Hiffle of Egron who states that the rocky effulgence is a result of an ancient Varlansk sneeze.

What can be agreed upon is that long ago a settlement was built about the deposit and garnered the name Stonemouth, and not so long ago the klokwerx was built on top of and into one such boulder with Rump Towers being built right beside it. Ramshod says that the interplay of light and dark among the rocks allows for a greater harvest of the light. A few Ramshod detractors say that he is a warlock playing with powers that live in the dark places. Regardless, light is harvested, heat is maintained, metals are pooled, and the rich have a play-place like none other on Ghyll (even though these rich folk tend to raise broodlings stupid enough to fall down three-level stairways within the Towers every now and then, or who tend to believe that the howl of the wind down one particular scuttleway sounds oddly sentient).

Citations: Grommies, Monotapute House, Rump Family.

--Nikos of Ant 01:44, 4 Aug 2005 (EDT)


I am curious whether the construction of the Klokwerx is in any way related to the Kites d'Jeaux? I came across no references to Klokwerx in my researches, but the Kites are older structures than the Klokwerx, so that is not necessarily informative. Could the location of the Kites on d'Jeaux beach (and thus proximate to water) be significant, since you note that water is important to the Klokwerx. --Brother Arfrus 13:32, 9 Aug 2005 (EDT)

That's a pretty long stretch - the klokwerx is more than a 100 leles away from the Kites. --Morbus Iff 15:29, 9 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Ah, but is it a "long stretch"? Let us not forget that orthogonality pervades the nearness and farness of each and every location on our beloved Ghyll! And specific to the Klokwerx, I am not the first person to point out its rather... odd ...geomantic geometries. A different problem, however, is the question of time. The Kites appeared in -130 EC and the Klokwerx was constructed in -11 EC, now it IS a stretch to say that the two are connected without having any proof, but if the orthogonalities traverse both location AND time, well then! let the numerologisers and arithmaticians commence an analysis!!! --Nikos of Ant 16:26, 18 Aug 2005 (EDT)
I believe my question has been misconstrued. I am quite familiar with the Kites d'Jeaux, but I know less about the Klokwerx. Both the Kites and the Klokwerx are impressively engineered structures. Do you know if Ramshod Axis ever studied the Kites? Is the presence of water (the Klokwerx has its aquaduck, and the Kites sit on d'Jeaux beach) an important element for engineered structures like this? There are some interesting correlations here. --Brother Arfrus 07:33, 19 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Arfrus, my dear chap, Ser Ramshod is a boisterous man who speaks many words but says very little... and any inquiry into the inspiration for the klokwerx was met with talk on how many pillipods it takes to spin enough web to make one full length of hemp. Let me tell you, I don't give frack for pillipods, webbing, nor hemp! --Nikos of Ant 09:39, 21 Aug 2005 (EDT)
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